Following the announcement a few days ago that the final clinical trials for the Coronavirus vaccine had stopped after the illness of one of the volunteers, the pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca stated again, during a seminar organized virtually Thursday evening by its managers, that it is still possible to find the vaccine towards the end of this year, or early next year. This is despite the fact that the vaccine development project that the group is carrying out in collaboration with the University of Oxford has been stopped.
Officials said the disease without reason or explanation from one of the volunteers is normal and even predictable, and that it can happen during any clinical trial without having to stop research or development of the vaccine. They added that the voluntary suspension of trials is a routine measure that is always initiated in case one of the participants suffers from a “disease whose origins are unclear”. The purpose of this measure is to maintain the integrity and credibility of the trials.
AstraZeneca and the Oxford University are strong rivals to the 9 vaccines that are being developed around the world, all of which are in the final stages of clinical trials. The group’s vaccine was expected to be the first to be released to world markets after the success of the first two phases, but Russia surprised the world by releasing its own, followed by China a few days later. Meanwhile, experiments and trials are still underway in the United States, which is lagging behind despite the words of its president, Donald Trump, assuring that the U.S. vaccine will be available before the U.S. elections.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine was able to develop antibodies in 14 days, without leaving any side effects on volunteers during the first and second phase of testing. The research group also concluded that the body’s immune system is strengthened when vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine in one period of time.
The third phase of the trials focuses on the possibility of protecting the body from the Coronavirus and developing full immunity, not just antibodies.
AstraZeneca plans to produce two billion doses of the vaccine, in cooperation with the UK, the USA, some European countries and the global pandemic alliance, in addition to the Indian group “Serum”, the world’s largest vaccine producer.
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